The 2000s were a good decade for horror film, with a number of high-profile projects hitting movie screens. While the decade was dominated by several horror franchises, there were also a number of other more obscure films released during this time period, many of which struggled to find audiences.
Despite the fact that they have been largely overlooked, these obscure films explore thematic territory and deliver a different kind of troubling cinematic experience than their big-budget, high-profile horror counterparts and, for that reason, deserve a look. show.
ten Annihilation (2018)
Despite the fact that it was based on a popular novel and starred big stars, including Natalie Portman in one of its most iconic roles, Annihilation didn’t make a big impression on its first outing. It is, however, a visually stunning film, and as the characters explore an area that has been invaded by an alien force that causes DNA mutation, they are forced to not only battle disturbing creatures (including a mutated bear), but also with their own inner demons. It’s a film designed to turn everything audiences thought they knew about themselves upside down.
9 The Bay (2012)
Chesapeake Bay is a popular tourist destination in the United States, but it also frequently faces all kinds of pollution. This is the starting point for The Bay, a found images film set in Maryland. It focuses in particular on a small town that finds itself overrun by parasitic creatures that have mutated as a result of runoff from local chicken factories.
It’s a very disturbing film, in large part because the government chooses to cover up the atrocity rather than tackle the problem that caused it. He also succeeds in mixing found images film and creature horror in a way not always accomplished by films of this type.
8 Hinterland (2015)
There is something inherently unsettling about being stalked by a dangerous predator (of which there are quite a few in animal horror movies like Jaws), and it is this primordial fear that gives Countryside its power and what makes it such an effective horror film. In this case, the creature is a black bear chasing two hikers, only one of which survives.
The film immerses the viewer in the sinister atmosphere of being in the middle of the woods, subjected to the brutality of nature and its carelessness for human life. And, rather than indulging in gore, it succeeds like a horror movie as it instead focuses on the animal fear of trying to survive in the wild.
7 Honey (2019)
The 2010s were a good decade for horror films dealing with various kinds of creatures, including the sea monster that emerges in Dear. The film focuses on a young woman’s attempts to survive after being stranded on an island the monster haunts.
The creature itself is quite creepy – partly because it’s humanoid in appearance and because it’s so ruthlessly good at sending its human victims – and the movie hits the right horror rhythms, while delivering a little social commentary. In addition to its impressive visuals, what sets this film apart is its masterful use of silence (the film contains long passages without any dialogue) which effectively conveys an atmosphere of dread and fear.
6 Defense (2014)
At first glance, Defense seems a bit silly (and arguably not one of Kevin Smith’s best movies), as it’s largely about a young man getting sewn into a walrus costume by a demented hermit . However, under that silly premise, there is actually a rather sinister and disturbing horror film.
The climax, in which the film’s central character – brainwashed into believing he’s in fact a walrus – engages in a fight to the death with his executioner is both funny and deeply, viscerally unsettling. , and the ending is more than a little tragic. What increases the effectiveness of the horror film is the excellent performance of Justin Long, who never fails to make his character likeable even when he does terrible things.
5 Butterfly Kisses (2010)
While there are many horror films from this period, not all are created equal. Butterfly kisses takes this horror film sub-genre in new and interesting directions, focusing as it does on a man who becomes obsessed with the idea that a documentary of images found in the universe is real. This film manages to both provoke thought (probing the very nature of the form of images found) and disturb as the main character goes to great lengths in his obsession.
4 Jug Face (2013)
Folk horror is another sub-genre that experienced some revival in the 2010s, as evidenced by Jug face, which focuses on a small community and its deadly cult of a creature in a pit. He largely eschews large sets, instead focusing on character and atmosphere, immersing himself in this grim, claustrophobic world of ugly desires and brutal religious sacrifices. And, like all of the best popular horrors, it also creates a sense of realism, which makes it even more unsettling.
3 The Transfiguration (2016)
The vampire is, of course, one of the most popular figures to appear in horror films, and he has taken many forms. In The Transfiguration, it is that of a boy who becomes convinced that he is one of these creatures and his series of murders that follow.
Like all good vampire films, however, it also offers a measure of social commentary, since the film’s main character clearly sees becoming a blood-drinking creature as preferable to the life that awaits him on the dangerous streets of his home. Besides, The Transfiguration ends on a disturbingly ambiguous note, leaving audiences to wonder if the boy really has is a vampire, after all.
2 Absence (2011)
Mike Flanagan, famous for his horror series on Netflix (including Midnight Mass) directed Absence as of 2011, and that’s one of its best efforts. Like many of his other projects, it’s a mix of horror conventions – including a disturbing creature preying on humans – and other deeper philosophical issues, including the question of loss. While it was clearly made on a low budget, that doesn’t stop it from being an uplifting, unsettling, and at times even melancholy horror film.
1 Awakening (2011)
Awakening is, like many other obscure films from this period, an interpretation of a classic horror subgenre, in this case, the Haunted House. It focuses on a young woman who investigates a series of hauntings at a boarding school in rural England.
There are a few things that make this film stand out from other entries of this genre. First, it maintains a brooding atmosphere that keeps the audience and the characters unsettled. Second, he has a formidable cast, including Imelda Staunton (famous for playing Harry potterProfessor Umbridge) and Rebecca Hall as the main protagonist. Perhaps more importantly, the film effectively uses its Gothic locations on Trinity Church Square and Lyme Park to convey its supernatural tale and evoke a dreamlike atmosphere.
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